Salt Lake City's Olympic bid estimates total cost of $4 billion to host 2034 Winter Games

Organizers for the proposed 2034 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City released their first budget estimate on Monday, putting the total cost at just under $4 billion, of which $2.84 billion is for operating costs.

The committee said that while there will be 40% more events than the last time Salt Lake City hosted the Olympics, the 2034 operating expense count is 1% lower than 2002, adjusted for inflation.

The IOC will review the figures later this month and is expected to officially award the 2034 Games to Utah's capital at a July 24 meeting ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Salt Lake City has focused on using many of the locations that were available in 2002. It says no new site construction is planned until 2034 as it will use facilities that have been kept in use since 2002 and have been upgraded.

The Olympics are notorious for coming in over budget, and also for being difficult to track financially – partly because of the different elements that make up 'operational' and 'total' costs, and also because of an often opaque process that is used in filtering these figures through governments and the IOC to make them known to the public.

“One of the statements Fraser often makes is that Olympic budgeting is essentially an unofficial Olympic sport,” said Bid Chief Operating Officer Brett Hopkins, who explained the budget in a media call alongside Bid CEO Fraser Bullock. “There's just a lot going on behind the scenes.”

If Salt Lake City can come close to these numbers, it would mark a notable shift from the last few Winter Games.

Russia reportedly spent $51 billion on hosting the 2014 Sochi Olympics, including massive transportation and housing projects.

Four years later, South Korea spent $12.9 billion for the 2018 Games, which had originally been estimated at $7 to $8 billion.

However, there is no definitive price tag on the last Winter Olympics in China a report estimated the cost at more than $38.5 billion, after an initial forecast of about $3.9 billion.

Salt Lake organizers have released projected revenue figures, estimating they will break even with the help of a target of $1.8 billion in domestic sponsorships.

The committee budgets a legacy contribution of $260 million to support sports programs for local communities. This contribution is part of non-operational expenses and could be reduced if the figures are incorrect.

Bullock acknowledged the ever-changing nature of Olympic budgets, but said Salt Lake City's mission was to spend no more than it generates on the 2034 Games.

“With this budget we've gone through, we're probably at a 'hundred-plus' iteration,” he said. “That's just the dynamics of game budgets. As you learn more and get more information, they are constantly evolving.”

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AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympicsAP

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